Fatigued, Female and Forty

     A study this month in the journal Menopause concluded that a number of dysfunctional gynecologic factors were strongly correlated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).  For many years the demographics of chronic fatigue have suggested a hormonal connection:  CFS is two to four times more common in women than in men and is most prevalent in women in their 40s.  Gee, Sherlock, whaddya think?  Could there be a connection?  The study showed that menstrual abnormalities, endometriosis, pelvic pain, hysterectomy, and early or surgical menopause all correlated with the diagnosis of CFS.  The women with CFS also reported excessive bleeding (74% vs 42%) much more often as well as significantly more bleeding between periods (49% vs 23%) and missing periods (38% vs 22%).   It was postulated that sex hormone abnormalities or their early decrease or disappearance may underlie these links, and the authors called for more research to find out whether they do play a role in causing or perpetuating CFS in some women.

     Other common CFS symptoms such as sleep or memory problems, muscle and joint pain, and worse symptoms after exertion can correlate with a drop or fluctuation of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels.  If you are in your mid to late 30’s or older and have been told you have CFS, you may benefit from consulting with an integrative minded physician who understands individualized hormone support therapy.  Find one by checking at the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) website.  www.acam.org

“Early menopause and other gynecologic risk indicators for chronic fatigue syndrome in women.”  Boneva, Roumiana S.; Lin, Jin-Mann S.; Unger, Elizabeth R.  Menopause., February 2, 2015

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